RIP Big Man Clarence Clemons

Clarence Clemons, the saxophonist in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band whose jovial onstage manner, soul-rooted style and brotherly relationship with Springsteen made him one of rock’s most beloved sidemen, died Saturday at a hospital in Palm Beach, Fla. He was 69.

The cause was complications from a stroke, which he suffered last Sunday, said a Springsteen spokeswoman.

From the beginnings of the E Street Band in 1972, Mr. Clemons played a central part in Springsteen’s music, complementing the group’s electric guitar and driving rhythms in songs like “Born to Run” and “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” with muscular, melodic saxophone hooks that echoed doo-wop, soul and early rock ‘n’ roll.

Equally important to the group’s image was the sense of affection and unbreakable camaraderie between Springsteen and his sax man. (read more)